Anastacia Tolbert, photographed near Hugo House, where she is poet in residence.
PHOTO BY KELLY O / QUESTIONS BY RICH SMITH
Nice muscle. Do you lift?
Thank you! Yes, I lift: fighting social injustices (QWOC), mothering two black boys in America, writing, performing, teaching, one-woman-showing at the Project Room—oh yes, and a few weights. If my muscles could talk... they would choose not to. Silent types.
What are you working on during your Hugo House residency?
I plan to give writers in marginalized communities the opportunity to share their creative writing and voices with the House in a more intentional way. I also plan to finish a full-length manuscript, which will include (aside from poetry and prose) many Seattle voices, artwork, quotes, and ear-hustled conversation snippets from around town.
You write for the page and the stage. What's one piece of advice you'd give to poets who want to perform their work?
To read/share their work with passion and to think of themselves as a 3-D model, showing all sides simultaneously. But at the end of the day, I want someone to comment on my work, not how great my voice sounded while reading it. I guess that was a couple pieces of advice. Two more: Be confident and humble.